May 27, 2019
The Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando REP) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Chris Brown as the new Executive Director of the nonprofit committed to creating quality experiences that enlighten, enrich, and entertain young audiences. Brown, who has served as Production Manager, General manager and Interim Executive Director at Orlando REP, will manage the strategic goals of the largest professional theatre for young audiences in the Southeast while working collaboratively with Artistic Director Jeff Revels to ensure a cohesive, efficient, and productive operation.
“Chris brings exceptional talent coupled with sound fiscal management skills, the ability to build relationships with supporters and stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, and he demonstrates a passion for creating exceptional experiences,” said Kirtus Bocox, chair of Orlando REP Board of Directors and Managing Director at KPMG LLP. “He has a proven track record as a strong, effective leader and I am confident he will build on the strong foundation laid by Gene Columbus, who is retiring this summer.”
Brown is a proud alumnus of the University of Central Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2005. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Technical Design and Production from the Yale School of Drama. He has held positions at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival and was production supervisor for the New York Summer Play Festival on 42nd Street in Manhattan. After graduating from Yale, he worked in the automation department of Hudson Scenic Studio, one of the largest Broadway scene shops, supervising the construction of the New York City Times Square Ball, the first to reside in Times Square year-round.
“As Orlando REP continues to grow, I see our future as one of the country’s leading theatres for young audiences, blending the highest quality of theatrical arts experiences with state-of-the-art educational training programs,” said Brown. “My vision is to help us inspire young people to be confident leaders in their families, schools, and communities, and for the community to embrace theatre as a vital component of well-being and emotional intelligence.”
Brown has a long track record of accomplishments at Orlando REP. The end of the 2018-2019 season marks the 100th production of his residency. He has managed over $3.5 million in facility renovations and improvements including leading the creative design and project management of Orlando REP’s Florida Blue Lobby.
“I know Chris Brown will continue to build Orlando REP’s standing in this community as a place where young people can learn life skills through theatre and better understand how they can make an impact in the world,” said Gene Columbus, who has served as the Executive Director for 11 years after retiring from the Walt Disney Company. “He is able to foster an environment of collaboration and communication and I look forward to seeing all he will accomplish.”
Brown was selected following an extensive, three-month national search. His new official role begins July 1, 2019.